The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
St. Bartholomew the Little, or St. Bartholomew by the Exchanges.
This church is situated on the east side of St. , and separated from by houses built against its south wall. It is of very ancient foundation; for, in the year , John de Tyerne was presented to this living, on the death of John de Aldeburgh, the rector; and it had become so decayed that it was entirely rebuilt in the year .
The living was anciently in Simon Godart, citizen, who probably gave it to the abbey of St. Mary of Grace; as it fell, with the dissolution of that religious house, into the hands of the crown, in whom it has continued to the present time, subject to the archdeacon. The old church was burnt down by the fire of London, after which the present building was erected. The exterior view is far from handsome, owing to the stones of which the walls are composed, being rough and irregular. The west front, as seen in , shews a centre and side aisles with a square tower, attached to the south wall. The central division is faced with smoothed stone; it contains the principal entrance, which is arched and surrounded with a concaved frontispiece, over which is a mask between handsome festoons of foliage. Above this is a large arched window, divided into compartments by stone uprights sustaining an arched head, and joined to the jambs at the springing of the arch, by a transom stone; this window is walled up. In the aisles are arched windows, and the elevation is finished with a cornice and attic. The tower is in stories, the contains an arched window corresponding with the aisles in its western front, above which is an oblong square window; the story has an arched window, and the upper story another of an oblong square form, bounded by an architrave and surmounted by a cornice. The southern face is built against to the story; the eastern face is a copy of the western . The finish to the tower
|is a singular attic, in the middle of each face is an arch sustained upon antae, the coping being made to rise and form a pediment above the window; this portion is also of smoothed stone. The north side of the church has arched windows in the aisle, of a similar character to those in the west front; beneath the window is a lintelled doorway; and between the and is an octagon staircase turret, lighted by loopholes, the height of which has been increased by an addition of brick work. Above the aisles is a clerestory containing segment arched windows, this portion is built of brick, with stone dressings. The east front, which is concealed from public observation, corresponds in its general features with the western. A portion of the south wall of the church appears above the premises of the Cock tavern. This is an attached chapel, now used as a vestry, it contains segment arched windows, and is built with the same materials as the church. Above this is seen the clerestory. The walls and tower of this church, there is little doubt, are anterior to the fire, the architect found them sufficiently strong to sustain a new roof, and he only rebuilt the portions which had been destroyed by the fire. The fact of the additions to the staircase, tower, and the clerestory, being made with brick, is a corroboration of this opinion, as it is very improbable that the architect should have found his materials fail him when his walls had rose to a certain height, and then be forced to finish the elevation with a different description. The church may, therefore, be looked upon as an ancient edifice completely modernized; it has lately been very ably repaired, and the parish, to their great credit, have made no alterations in the architecture The interior is entirely modern; it is entered by a spacious vestibule, in which are internal porches fronting the doorway, adorned with Corinthian pilasters, and poor boxes attached to the central porch; on each side of the church are semicircular arches, sustained on Tuscan pillars, the key-stones are enriched with cherubim, and sustain a cornice, above which rises the clerestory, diffusing a body of light into the church, and giving to it a more cheerful appearance than might be expected from its confined situation. At the east end is a chancel lighted by a large window in the east wall, a copy of that described in the west front, and by series of windows in the lateral walls, corresponding with those in the aisles and clerestory of the church. The ceilings are horizontal, that of the body of the church rests on a cornice, and is made into square pannels. The immediately over the altar is distinguished by concavities at the angles, containing cherubim, and the centre is painted with clouds surrounding the Hebrew name of the Deity. The ceilings of the aisles correspond with the central division, but are not pannelled; in the wall of the south aisle is a large ill-formed arch communicating with the vestry before noticed, the keystone is carved with a cherub. A gallery crosses the centre of the west end of the church, in which is a large organ
|in an oak case, richly carved. The altar is a slab of elegantly veined marble upon gilt supporters; upon the ledger is a pedestal of the same material, which although it appears to be intended for an ornament, is, in fact, a depository for the communion plate. The altar screen is carved oak, and is enriched with Corinthian columns sustaining an attic and the arms of Charles II.; in the intercolumniations are the customary inscriptions and paintings of Moses and Aaron, and, above the centre, a small painting of the descent of the Holy Spirit. The walls of the chancel are painted in imitation of veined marble, and on the sides and inner arch of the window, is inscribed GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN. The pulpit and reading desk are attached to a pillar on the north side of the church, the former is poligonal, and has a sounding board of the same form, all richly carved in oak. The font is spherical, and sustained on a terminal pillar of veined marble, and is, upon the whole, a handsome piece of workmanship, it stands in a pew in the western vestibule. The dimensions of this building are as follows:--length feet, breadth , height , and height of tower feet. It was built by Sir Christopher Wren, in , at the expense of
In the vestry books of this parish anno , it was agreed, that every householder in the parish, should in rotation, watch their day, from in the morning till the same hour in the evening, for the purpose of expelling rogues and beggars from the streets of the parish.
 Malcolm, ii. p. 430.